Note *** If you wonder what this is all about – it’s all explained in my original fanpost “Kev’s defensive breakdown: Raptors at Warriors (March 13, 2010)” ***
The team score came up (-5). Compare that to a score of zero – which is worse than the game against the Raptors, but that is to be expected due to the competition. (Still, the Thunder scored a +28 last time they faced the Lakers). The team seemed more active versus the Lakers (and maybe because the game was on ESPN). Still, it’s tough to guard the Lakers because they have THREE guys that truly command a double team (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum). Most teams in the NBA have no more than one. So it was a decent showing considering all the circumstances (like the injuries).
C J Watson (+10)
Great game for C J. He managed to get three steals in less than twenty-four minutes of game time. His only real “mistake” was giving up two points to Kobe Bryant in the post, but that’s to be expected when you’re giving up four inches and thirty pounds.
Reggie Williams (+2)
He only played four minutes, but he contested a Ron Artest shot and picked up a loose ball in that time frame – no mistakes.
Devean George (zero)
Anthony Morrow (zero)
I don’t think that Morrow thought he’d be guarding guys like Lamar Odom (6-10, 220) when he made it to the NBA. Still, my numbers show his only miscue was a blown block out. That led to a Lamar Odom putback in the second quarter.
Anthony Tolliver (-1)
It was a decent game considering he was playing against the twin towers all night. I would have guessed his score would have been -10 before the game started, but he managed to get two steals and a two deflections to help offset the inside scoring.
Stephen Curry (-2)
Since most of the action was down low, Curry had a pretty quiet night guarding fossil Derek Fisher. He should get a better test tonight against Darren Collson. Still that foul where he gave up three free throws to Derek Fisher was a no-no.
Chris Hunter (-4)
Corey Maggette (-4)
He (like Monta) also has a tendency to lose focus on the defensive side of the ball. Early in the third quarter, Corey is guarding Ron Artest. Kobe comes to set a downpick to free Artest uptop. The ball is on the other side of the court, and Corey is locked in on it – Artest is at the top of the key before Corey spots him. Kobe’s pick wasn’t even really necessary! Artest drains the two easily.
Monta Ellis (-6)
· Stripped Kobe Bryant (1st - 10:20)
· Contested Bryant (1st - 9:30)
· Deflection (1st – 3:40)
· Forced Turnover deflected it off Shannon Brown out of bounds (2nd – 11:00)
· Contested Jordan Farmar (2nd – 10:00)
· Contested Kobe Bryant (2nd – 3:10)
· Loose ball steal from Bynum (2nd – 2:30)
· Drew offensive foul from Bryant (2nd – 1:00)
· Steal from Kobe Bryant (End of 1st half)
· Deflection (3rd – 3:35)
· Loose Ball (3rd – 3:30)
· Contested Bryant (4th – 6:30)
· Defensed Bryant in the post (4th – 5:40)
· Contested Derek Fisher (4th – 1:30)
· Stripped Bryant (4th – 0:30)
And the Bad:
· needed double team (DT) on Bryant – Gasol hits a jumper (1st – 9:40)
· lazy transition defense (1st – 9:30)
· posted by Bryanr (1st – 4:40)
· needed double team – Ron Artest for three (1st – 3:20)
· bad transition defense (1st – 3:00)
· posted by Kobe Bryant (1st – 0:45)
· dumb swipe at the ball (lazy defense), gave up defensive position; forced Chris Hunter to rotate and help; shot was missed but there was a free lane for an offensive rebound; Anthony Morrow was forced to foul Pau Gasol as a result (This play is my rebuttal for when announcers cry “No one blocked out.” Well, it’s hard to block out and help out on driving guards at the same time. The fault lies on the perimeter – in this case with Monta) (End of first quarter)
· Needed double team help; Odom scores a layup after defensive rotation (mid second quarter)
· Bad transition defense (2nd 7:00)
· Failure to contest a Kobe jumper (2nd 5:00)
· Gave up penetration to Kobe – shooting foul (2nd – 3:40)
· Shooting Foul on Bryant (3rd 8:40)
· Gave up Penetration to Bryant (3rd 5:40)
· Shooting Foul on Bryant (3rd - :40)
· Posted by Lamar Odom (4th – 9:50)
· Gave up Penetration to Bryant; Hunter rotated to help and fouled (4th – 6:10)
What is glaring on that list are the three mistakes in transition – my spreadsheet showed that no one else had any. Let’s look at one of them. In the middle of the second quarter, C J Watson races to the basket and misses a layup. Lakers guard Shannon Brown gets the miss and heads upcourt. Monta is right alongside of him. In my opinion (remember this analysis is somewhat objective), Monta should have raced back with Brown. Instead, he takes the easy way out. He comes up from behind and tries to swipe the ball out. In doing so, he gives up a step or two and loses momentum. He misses, and Brown is off. The Lakers scored easily on an Odom layup. That’s one of my complaints with his defensive play – he’d rather get a steal and get the highlight play versus playing sound defense and getting back. The former requires much less effort.